1. COVID-19 lockdown restrictions extended in Maharashtra till Jan 31, 2021
The government of Maharashtra has extended the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the state till January 31. “The activities already allowed and permitted from time to time shall be continued and all earlier orders shall be aligned with this order and shall remain in force up to 31st January 2021,” an official statement read.
2. BMC announces: All schools in Mumbai to remain shut till January 15
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has informed that all the schools located in Mumbai will continue to remain shut till January 15. This decision comes after the new COVID variant from the UK has been found in the country.
3. Suspension of flights to & from the UK extended till Jan 7 amid new COVID-19 strain
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Civil Aviation Minister announced that the decision to extend the suspension of flights to and from the UK till January 7, 2021 amid the new UK COVID-19 strain, has been taken. “Thereafter, strictly regulated resumption will take place for which details will be announced shortly,” the minister said. Around 20 people in India have tested positive for the new strain.
4. Madame Tussauds wax museum of Delhi to permanently shut down
The outlet of Madame Tussauds wax museum situated in Delhi has been permanently closed, the General Manager and Director of its holding company, confirmed. “Even though it was a prime location, we realised in due course that there were a lot of issues,” an official said. A total of 120 wax models have been packed of and the premises at Connaught Place too have been vacated.
5. US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris given COVID-19 vaccine live on TV
Kamala Devi Harris, the US Vice President-elect took a dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on live television and also encouraged the public to trust in the process. “It’s relatively painless. It happens really quickly. It’s safe,” Kamala said. She also added, “It’s about saving your life, the life of your family members and your community.”
6. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh: PM of another country shouldn’t discuss India’s affairs
Responding to the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s comments on the farmers’ agitation, Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister of India, told the media, “First, I would like to say that the PM of another country should stop talking about India’s internal affairs.” Further, he added, “India doesn’t require any outside interference… It’s our internal matter. No country has the right to comment on our internal affairs.”
7. Rajdhani train service between Mumbai-Delhi resumes today after 8 months
A Rajdhani Mumbai-Delhi special train has resumed its services after eight long months. The Central Railway (CR) informed that the train will ply four days a week. The train will leave the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 4.10 pm from December 30 and will reach Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) at 11 am the next day.
8. India resumes its international hockey competition. Women’s team to travels to Argentina next week
Indian hockey will resume all its tournament beginning with the Olympic preparations. The women team will be the first one to travel to Argentina next week for its first tour in nearly a year after the COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide lockdown disrupted all competitions around the world. A core group of 25 players and seven support staff will take the tour on 3 January. Starting from 17th January, the Indian women’s team will compete in eight matches against hosts Argentina.
9. 1st joint exercise conducted in Gaza by Palestinian militant groups
On Tuesday, many Palestinian militant groups held their first-ever joint exercise in Gaza. To mark the start of the drill, rockets were fired into the sea. This was done by the Israeli government, as said by the Israeli media, to demonstrate risks for Israel if Iran comes under US or Israeli attack before President Donald Trump’s term ends.
10. US President Biden says: Trump administration’s vaccine rollout falling far behind
Joe Biden the US President-elect said that the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout is falling “far behind” the estimated time and at this pace, “it would take years…to vaccinate the American people”. He also assured the citizens that he would distribute 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office. “I’m going to move heaven and earth to get us going in the right direction,” Biden said.